Holmfirth-born journalist Oliver Thompson now lives and works 8,000 miles away as a TV news reporter on the Falkland Islands.
But he’s currently back in the UK taking part in an international sports tournament representing his adopted home.
Oliver, 28, is representing the Falklands in indoor bowling at the 2023 NatWest Island Games which are taking place on the island of Guernsey from July 8-14.
Some 3,000 competitors from 24 islands will take part in an event that’s like the Olympics – but for tiny islands.
Oliver, who learned his trade on Kirklees Local TV and covered Huddersfield Town matches, moved to the Falklands in 2019 – and loves the place.
“It’s my international debut so I’m really excited to represent the Falklands,” said Oliver. “Think of the Olympics for small islands such as the Falklands and Orkney.
“We have six players in total – three ladies and three men. We are playing in singles, pairs and triples. For me personally, I am competing in pairs and triples.
“It’s an open playing field as indoor bowls hasn’t been a sport in the games for many years. We’re going there to enjoy the games but to be competitive and hopefully we have got a decent chance to win a medal.
“We’ve been playing regularly for the past two years with some good coaches helping us along the way so anything is possible.”
Oliver hadn’t played bowls before going to the Falklands but had watched his family play back in Holmfirth. It wasn’t until 2019 that he had a go.
“When I was younger I used to watch my grandad and grandma compete around Huddersfield in crown green bowling with my brother,” he said. “I was always interested to play but never confident to give it a go. I think I was a bit shy.
“In 2019 I was sent to do a TV piece on the revival of the Falkland Islands bowls club after it lay dormant for a few years. I think the piece is still on YouTube somewhere.
“I actually started going outside of work as I really enjoyed it and the rest is history. It’s a nice little story.
“The club started by putting mats out in the secondary school and now they have an outdoor facility and compete in many international competitions such as the Champion of Champions as well as the Commonwealth Games.
“I had played in a few national tournaments and finished third a few times so there’s scope to improve.”
Oliver loves his new life despite being so far away from home and, although he has visited England a few times since moving out there, he says he made the right move.
“Time has flown by,” he said. “It seems like only yesterday I left Huddersfield. Some of the experiences I’ve had have been incredible such as reporting on the demining effort of the Falkland Islands to be declared mine-free and being the media attache for Team Falklands at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham!
“One of the main highlights has to be going on a yacht to visit islands that people rarely get to go to – such a surreal experience.
“It’s a great little community similar to Holmfirth with some fascinating history. The people are friendly and welcoming just like us Yorkshire folk.
“I’ve been back three times including this trip. First time I came back and ended up doing some more reporting at Huddersfield Town, second time was for the Commonwealth Games and now I’m back again as a competitor for the Island Games.”